Art in corona times 50. Pedro Neves Marques & Zahy Guajajara, Ywy, Visions; 1646, The Hague

When entering 1646 you hear people talking in a non-European, strange language.

There are no subtitles or voice-overs, you just hear the rhythms, sounds and emotions and some excitement.

Alas, although it is an intriguing start of an exhibition, due to the present lockdown you cannot visit it.

I was invited by 1646 to have a look.

The show was opened just before the lockdown and so it has been barely visible to the public.

So the show will be missed. 

Ywy, Visions is a project by Pedro Neves Marques from Portugal and Zahy Guajajara from Brazil and several people and institutions who co-operated in the project.

Main protagonist in the project is android character Ywy.

While strolling, looking and listening in the gallery, you get a sense of estrangement rather than of clarity.

The estrangement may come from the strange language, heard in the beginning, and from the science-fiction idea of an android.

In a film Ywy (played by Zahy Guajajara) talks to you.

She is standing in the middle of a field of genetically manipulated maize.

What she tells you covers a lot of what we have to deal with on a daily basis: the integrity of our food and consumer products and the way they are produced; the way we look at gender (Ywy seems to be presented as a woman, but an android is almost by definition genderless); the way we look at nature and how it is exploited for our commercial needs, and indeed how countries were occupied and colonised for those needs; the way we look at the future and how constructions of the past play a decisive role in it, whether we like it or not; the way we accept globalisation while forgetting how many languages there are, each containing its own culture, history and knowledge.

The quotations on the wall in combination with the other three works bring a lot together and you may even identify with Ywy in spite of not speaking her language (most people in the world won’t understand your language or dialect either, even if you speak a “world language”).

In the end the differences between the sexes, skin colours, languages, cultures should only play a role in as much as they have the potential of making the planet worth living in for all and everything.

The exhibition itself is exemplary for an international artistic co-operation, surpassing languages, ethnicities and continents.

The four parts of the show – a sound installation, a presentation of digital drawings  (in co-operation with Hetamoé), a video, and quotations on the wall – are well balanced and intriguing in their combination.

It is a pity that chances of seeing this show are limited, but on the other hand it also shows the importance of what cannot be seen.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and 1646, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #126

Buildings with apartments and studios, south façade of the so-called Lissabonplein (Lisbon Square), Kazernestraat.

The square connects the former 18th century courtyard called Het Lissabon (The Lisbon) near Denneweg, with Kazernestraat.

The houses were built mainly in the 1930s with later modifications and additions.

It is a particularly peaceful part of the city centre, with arts and crafts studios.

The name Lissabon probably derives from Sephardic Jews who used to live around the former courtyard.

© Villa Next Door 2021

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 54. A Kocsma; Stichting Ruimtevaart, The Hague

Ida van der Lee

The present corona lockdown has made it extremely difficult to show art to the public.

Alex Jacobs, Ellemieke Schoenmaker
Elizabeth de Vaal

An online presentation cannot compete with the real thing.

Elizabeth de Vaal

It is not possible for the viewer to lose oneself in the proper thing, with its own measures, techniques, shapes, colours etc.

Manon Bovenkerk

Elizabeth de Vaal of the Post 15 Foundation – which facilitates residencies in the village of Pécsbagota, Hungary – has found a partial solution by inviting people personally and responsibly to see the A Kocsma exhibition, currently at Stichting Ruimtevaart.

Isabel Ferrand

Happy to receive her invitation, i visited Ruimtevaart some days ago.

Lotte van Lieshout

The show with works by some twenty-nine Dutch artists (all former residents) was made on the occasion of the twelve-and-a-half years anniversary (in Dutch that’s called a “copper jubilee”) of the foundation and the Pécsbagota residency near the city of Pécs.

Maarten Schepers
Ton Kraayeveld

An advantage of a personal invitation was that Elizabeth could tell me everything about the history of the Pécsbagota residency, which is in a tiny village in the south of Hungary.

Harold de Bree

Quite a few Dutch artists have resided there since 2007.

Hieke Luik

There are also ties with the University of Pécs, Hungarian artists and art students.

Sjef Henderickx

Dutch artists have an opportunity to work in a place far from the madding crowd, in a rather better climate than the Dutch, and in a small village community which is by now used to having these artists hanging around.

Channa Boon

It gives a good chance for an artist to see his/her own work and practice in different circumstances and as such to reflect on his/her own qualities, i think.

Marjolijn van der Meij
Simone ten Bosch

Here are some pictures of details of what is on show.

Ewout van Rijn

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists, Stichting Post 15 and Stichting Ruimtevaart, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 53. Topp & Dubio, Unstable Matter Situations: If I Said You Had A Beautiful Theory, Would You Hold It Against Me?; HOK Gallery, The Hague

In HOK Gallery’s last exhibition in its eleven square meters space, it has left the floor to Topp & Dubio.

They present their installation If I Said You Had A Beautiful Theory, Would You Hold It Against Me?

For that i’d say you shouldn’t treat them like the devil, as the installation may well sum up the problems of this year, or of the last decade or last few centuries if you wish, or it may solve them, or they aren’t problems at all.

The duo have built, scattered, hanged, exposed, hidden and changed the lot into an absurdist display of problems and would-be problems, or rather, visual facts and visual non-facts.

Focusing on the details the objects may suddenly look quite innocent, but then you never know.

The devil is always in the detail.

Although the whole installation may seem chaotic at first sight, there is a certain logic in it; in certain objects, in the course of moving through the gallery, in the combination of objects, and here and there it also looks a bit like an artistic autobiography of the duo.

Some objects have a metaphoric meaning, but even if you are not aware of that, they’ll make you give them a meaning.

The object of the opening, outside the gallery (still missing), even caused a stir in the neighbourhood, with the police and the bomb detonation unit assisting in an unstable matter situation.

The unforeseen situation became a metaphor itself, although the police wouldn’t like to see it that way.

But that is how the absurd works.

Topp & Dubio also made a radio program for local underground broadcaster Radio Tonka last Sunday night in which they presented the Top 2000 of problems (in Dutch).

Quite a relief from the traditional Dutch Top 2000 of top-hits.

The installation will still be on show over the next weekend.

In the mean time i’ve felt free to take details photographically out of their context.

As I couldn’t make a proper choice i’ve published most pics i made in this posting.

So if you can’t make any sense of them do visit the show, as far as you are able to enter the gallery under the present unstable circumstances.

Maybe you can ask what you really want to know.

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Topp & Dubio and HOK Gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 52. A Finger In Every Pie, pre-graduation exhibition, students of the Royal Academy (KABK), The Hague

Venue at Binckhorstlaan. Left: the big sausage-like installation by Biko Wouterse and Maartje Balkestein

In these times of crisis and other turbulence one would almost forget that students at the art academies are actually working hard for their graduation due by the end of next spring.

Sienna Matijas – This seems to be a prelude to something interesting

Students of the Royal Academy of Art (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten – KABK) in The Hague showed some work last weekend in a pre-graduation exhibition.

Sienna Matijas

The show was spread over three venues.

Zowie Smeets – Shows a modest exercise in wall sculpture.

Due to the fact that i had left my phone at home (i seem to be one of those rare persons who don’t feel the urgency of being constantly accessible or on-line) i wasn’t welcome at the third venue, but well, one adapts.

Zowie Smeets

Part of the curriculum for professionalism is that the students have to organise their own exhibition.

Laura van den Enden – Nice collection of smaller pictures, which is a good base for further study. But please skip the adolescent graffiti with its messy style and spelling. It’s terribly distracting.

Which is good, but one must bear in  mind that most students are still developing things.

Laura van den Enden

The two venues i visited are on one hand far from ideal for a proper exhibition, on the other hand the rawness of the two places may add to the fact that the ideas on show were still in the making.

Biko Wouterse, Maartje Balkestein – Part of their big black pudding.

As such one can also doubt if it is worth saying something critical about the exhibition.

Venue at Jupiterkade

At the same time, showing something in public also means that your work becomes part of the knowledge and taste of the viewer. Exhibiting means you don’t want the viewer to be indifferent.  

Ellen Yiu – Very intriguing installation with textiles and other materials. Promising, i’d say.

Indifferent i never am concerning art, but the actual show did make me ambivalent.

Ellen Yiu

Whether it is the influence of the present crisis or anything else, i felt a general atmosphere of bleakness in the parts of the exhibition i saw, maybe even a bit of a lack of commitment to the handicraft of the trade.

Joseph Thabang Palframan – Intriguing installation with painting and objects. This guy can do probably a lot more than this. Again, promising, i’d say.

More than ever this felt like an interlude.

Joseph Thabang Palframan

In the mean time i wish all students and KABK the very best in these troubled times, and that we will all be able to see your graduation show by mid 2021!

Yota Karas – Intriguing collection of photography and painting.

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the students and KABK, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #125

Apartment block with interesting architectural decoration over its porch.

Built in 1919, it has lost a bit of its charm because of the modernisation of its window frames.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 51. Cao Guimarães, Natascha Libbert & Ricardo van Eyk, Trace On Trace; 38CC, Delft

Ricardo van Eyk

The human species consciously and extensively intervenes in the natural environment, for habitation, agriculture, industry, transport and recreation.

Ricardo van Eyk

We all know the sad stories of pollution and injuries to the landscape i guess.

Natascha Libbert

In the mean time humans, like other species, are careless as well.

Ricardo van Eyk

This carelessness also leaves traces of human activity.

Natascha Libbert

38CC in Delft shows works by three artists – Cao Guimarães (1965), Natascha Libbert (1973) and Ricardo van Eyk (1984) – who are interested in these traces.

Ricardo van Eyk

One could call it the aesthetics of human carelessness.

Natascha Libbert

Libbert shows photographs made during her travels.

Natascha Libbert

They are usually attractive pictures of less attractive carelessness.

Natascha Libbert

They have the deceptive beauty of apples in paradise.

Cao Guimarães

Their abstract, sometimes even gemlike beauty, contrasts starkly with their often distressing content.

Ricardo van Eyk

Very inventive is the way Van Eyk’s intervention in the gallery connects his and Libbert’s works. Van Eyk is the most “objective” of the three artists.

Ricardo van Eyk

His aesthetics of carelessness are about the traces you may pass along on a daily basis without noticing them.

Ricardo van Eyk

Small signs of decay and destruction like cuttings or abrasions.

Cao Guimarães

Guimarães’ works are the most festive of the three.

Cao Guimarães

His two warm-hearted and colourful video’s celebrate life with the sheer joy of colours, and additional sounds produced by others.

Cao Guimarães

Once absorbed in these attractive video’s it is difficult to stop watching them.

Cao Guimarães

All together this very interesting show gives a much needed deviant accent to the otherworldly historic dollhouse-beauty of Delft’s city centre.

Cao Guimarães

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and 38CC, Delft

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 50. Theme, Method, Freedom of Choice; Galerie De Zaal, Delft

Philip Akkerman

Currently at Galerie De Zaal in Delft works by twelve artists are on show, based on their themes and working methods.

Philip Akkerman

The exhibition was composed by painter Jaap van den Ende (1944) who divided the twelve artists into six couples, duos who have each one aspect, a working method or a theme, in common.

Philip Akkerman (detail)

There are for instance Philip Akkerman (1957) and Jos van Merendonk (1956) who have stuck obstinately to one theme during the greater part of their artistic lives.

Jos van Merendonk

For Van Merendonk it is the colour chromium green and some basic shapes, movements and structures and for Akkerman it is his self portrait.

Jos van Merendonk (detail)
Jos van Merendonk (detail)

In the case of Akkerman the self portrait has become no more than a scheme to make extreme painterly variations on, while Van Merendonk’s theme and methods seem to be even more limited, concentrating on the subtleties of the outcomes.

Maarten Janssen
Maarten Janssen (detail)
Maarten Janssen (detail)

Maarten Janssen (1960) and Anjes Adriaansens (1955) both use chance in their methods.

Anjes Adriaansens
Anjes Adriaansens (detail)
Anjes Adriaansens (detail)

In Janssen’s work that results in very different works in different materials in which there is always a sense of imperfection or a kind of upside-downness, while in Adriaansens’ paintings a new harmony is found in the methodical chaos she creates.

Jan Smejkal
Jan Smejkal
Jan Smejkal

Gracia Khouw (1967) and Jan Smejkal (1948) both use words in their works.

Gracia Khouw
Gracia Khouw
Gracia Khouw (detail)

In Smejkal’s works the words, although perfectly well readable, seem to blur, while with Khouw words create the composition, balancing in between meaning and abstraction.

Guido Lippens (detail)
Guido Lippens (detail)
Guido Lippens

The works on show by Guido Lippens (1939) and Arie Berkulin (1939) seem to have a touch of exoticism, while both artists’ works have evolved from concrete abstraction.

Arie Berkulin
Arie Berkulin (detail)
Arie Berkulin (detail)

To both, but especially to Lippens’ works, decoration has become a meaningful aesthetic element.

Rien Monshouwer
Rien Monshouwer

Rien Monshouwer (1947) and Gerco de Ruijter (1961) both reflect on place, limited parts of the surface of our planet we use or inhabit.

Rien Monshouwer
Gerco de Ruijter

In his currently presented paintings Monshouwer concentrates on the scheme of the one or two persons household apartments that were built in the 1970s, and gives them a new life with lyrical but subtle colours.

Gerco de Ruijter (detail)
Gerco de Ruijter (detail)

De Ruijter’s presented works concentrate on the patterns of circular sprinkling units used in agriculture in dryer places all over the globe, bringing them together as collections or examples of unearthly coins.

Jaap van den Ende
Jaap van den Ende

In the works by Jaap van den Ende and Eric Jan van de Geer (1965) reality is always given a second thought.

Jaap van den Ende (detail)
Eric Jan van de Geer

Almost literally in Van den Ende’s work; in fact his oeuvre has become more and more a method of thought and second thought of reality, while in Van de Geer’s works on show the inherent decomposition of  the CMYK printing method makes them an ultimate afterthought of reality.

Eric Jan van de Geer (detail)

As a whole it is a very full and rich exhibition and a must see for those of you who think that the materiality of ideas is an inalienable aspect of visual art.

Eric Jan van de Geer (detail)

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Galerie De Zaal, Delft

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 49. Bob Bonies & Cor van Dijk; Galerie Ramakers, The Hague

Bob Bonies

Galerie Ramakers presents at the moment some real hardcore geometric abstract modernism.

Bob Bonies
Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk

On show are works by old hands in the trade Bob Bonies (1937) and Cor van Dijk (1952).

Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk
Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies

Old hands though they may be, they don’t show you a program of old boring tricks. Indeed there may be something to defend in geometric abstraction, but the best defence is the refinement in the works of both artists.

Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies
Cor van Dijk

They are both deepening their methods and their ideas, something which is especially visible in Bonies’ remarkable development through the years.

Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies
Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk
Cor van Dijk

As Van Dijk’s works constantly attract attention by their almost casual simplicity, Bonies’ colours add an almost festive note to this exhibition.

Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies
Bob Bonies
Cor van Dijk

Something festive which is not just appropriate for this dark season, but also for the dreary times we are currently living in.

Cor van Dijk

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Contents of all photographs courtesy to Bob Bonies, Cor van Dijk and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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